College football has become more dependent on quarterback play than ever before, making the SEC’s current quarterback situation all the more troubling.

Only three of 14 starters in the conference have more than 12 career starts to their names — Arkansas’ Brandon Allen, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott and Missouri’s Maty Mauk — while most other teams will be turning to a new starter this year.

The SEC will need improved quarterback play in its attempted return to the top of the college football landscape, which begs the question:


Take a look at what our SDS staffers had to say on the matter:

Brad Crawford (@BCrawfordSDS): South Carolina Gamecocks

Several teams in the SEC will replace starters at the quarterback position, but the largest production drop could come at South Carolina where the Gamecocks have four players competing for the job all on the same wavelength talent-wise. None of the three current passers — Connor Mitch, Michael Scarnecchia and Perry Orth — have wowed the coaching staff and incoming freshman Lorenzo Nuñez simply isn’t ready for SEC football just yet. I think early in the season we may see Steve Spurrier rotating signal callers or perhaps giving Pharoh Cooper more snaps in the Wildcat. It’s an intriguing position battle that likely won’t produce a starter during spring or fall practice, but instead prior to South Carolina’s trip to Athens in Week 3.

Brett Weisband (@WeisbandSDS): Ole Miss Rebels

Even with the losses they’re suffering on defense, the Rebels will still have a championship-caliber unit on that side of the ball. And with Laquon Treadwell, Jaylen Walton, and improving offensive line and a loaded recruiting class, the offense is pretty well-stocked as well. The only question is under center. Can Chad Kelly keep his head on straight and perform up to his talent level? If not, can Devante Kincaid keep the wheels from falling off? Few teams in the country will see their fate swing as much as Ole Miss based on quarterback play. The worst-case scenario could be ugly if things don’t work out as expected.

Jon Cooper (@JonSDS): South Carolina Gamecocks

The SEC’s biggest quarterback guru really has no quarterback heading into spring practice. South Carolina’s program is at an interesting turning point under Spurrier. Perry Orth, Connor Mitch and Michael Scarnecchia will battle for the job this spring. Spurrier repeatedly said that Dylan Thompson was his quarterback in 2014, and there wasn’t a signal caller even close. Mitch is obviously the frontrunner for the job, and he has fans excited about his potential. But looking ahead to 2015, South Carolina has the biggest questions at the position…and it’s not close.

Ethan Levine (@EthanLevineSDS): Florida Gators

A number of SEC teams will turn to a new quarterback in 2015, and most teams in the conference will start a player with less than a full season’s worth of live action under his belt. But no teams in the conference are as helpless at the quarterback position as Florida and South Carolina, which will likely open up competitions to find a starter for the fall. The Gamecocks will try to decide between Connor Mitch, Michael Scarnecchia and Perry Orth, while Florida must choose between Treon Harris and Will Grier. Although Harris has the most experience of those five names, Florida is still in worse shape, as neither of UF’s quarterbacks were brought in by the current coaching regime. The Gamecocks signal callers may lack experience, but they were brought to Columbia to play in the system that remains in place today. Florida’s quarterbacks were not brought in to play in Jim McElwain and Doug Nussmeier’s system, and there’s no guaranteeing either is the right fit. That has to be troubling for Gators fans as the fall approaches.